ACC M5: 11.28.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on November 28th, 2012

  1. ACC Sports: Expansion is upon us. A 7:00 AM conference call between all of the ACC presidents will determine which, if any, of the other potential schools under consideration will be invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. The smart thinking on this is that Lousiville has the inside track on joining the conference and the possibility of adding more than one school is very slim. This has got to be disappointing news for Connecticut, which has lobbied hard for inclusion in the ACC, and to a lesser extent Cincinnati, Navy, and South Florida, all of which have also made bids to join the league. It looks like football success may be the deciding factor, though both Connecticut and Cincinnati are pressing hard on the issue of academics where those schools have an advantage over Louisville.
  2. ESPN: Maryland‘s exit from the ACC doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a clean break after all. The noise that Maryland president Wallace Loh has been making about not intending to pay the full $50 million exit fee has roused the collective ire of the conference that Maryland has scorned. The ACC has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the agreed-upon exit fee. The suit is supported by all member schools (outside of Maryland) as well as the three incoming schools (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame). In terms of a conference seeking full and complete restitution from a departing member, this is a big time move, at least on paper.
  3. Wisconsin State Journal: The Bennetts loom large in Wisconsin basketball lore and the match-up between Tony Bennett‘s Virginia Cavaliers and his former mentor, Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers, is about as storied a coaching storyline as you can get in terms of Wisconsin basketball intrigue. Now, obviously the market for “Wisconsin basketball intrigue” is about as niche a topic of interest as possible, but for those who are interested, this is a big one. Tony Bennett was a basketball hero at Wisconsin-Green Bay and an assistant coach at Wisconsin under Bo Ryan, who succeeded Bennett’s own father, Dick Bennett, who coached Wisconsin from 1996-2000. The point is that for Virginia’s coach, tonight’s match-up against the Badgers is rather important.
  4. Miami Sun-Sentinel: Miami sports fans don’t exactly have the best reputation for supporting their team and sadly that reputation extends to the students at the University of Miami whose attendance at basketball games can be described as spotty at best. Despite fielding a successful team for the past several years, Miami continues to trail the vast majority of the conference in average and annual attendance figures. With the ranked Michigan State Spartans coming to town as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tonight, head coach Jim Larranaga is optimistic that the students and fans will show up for what could potentially be a pivotal turning point in Miami’s basketball history. Miami is good enough to give the Spartans a competitive game, and if they can do so in front of a raucous home crowd, the game could turn into a watershed moment for the Larranaga era in Coral Gables.
  5. Blogger So Dear: Would someone please check on Bart Johnson? After Wake Forest took a tough loss to Nebraska, things aren’t looking great in Winston-Salem again these days and Demon Deacon fans are despondent. Faith in head coach Jeff Bzdelik has plummeted below already dangerously low levels and our favorite Wake Forest bloggers seem prepared to make a deep run through the entire The Cure discography. It’s pretty bleak.

BONUS: Maryland stomped Northwestern in last night’s game in Evanston, but the story was a little different when the two teams last faced off… in 1958. The Northwestern archives and the Washington Post are happy to point us to the footage of this long-ago meeting. It’s honestly pretty rad.

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ACC M5: 11.26.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on November 26th, 2012

  1. CBS Sports: In the wake of Maryland‘s defection to the Big Ten, the main focus of speculation is what the ACC’s counterstroke will be. According to those in the know, the vote to pick a replacement for the departing Terps could happen as early as this week. The two leading candidates for replacement are Louisville and Connecticut. Both schools offer a few distinct advantages over the other. Louisville’s reasonable success in football is a big draw when football is the raison d’etre of realignment, while UConn’s academic profile more closely aligns with the Atlantic Coast Conference. A successful football program is a powerful draw, but considering that membership is decided by a vote of university presidents, the importance of academics as a deciding factor should not be overlooked.
  2. NBC Sports: There are embarrassing losses and then there are embarrassing losses, and sadly, Boston College has not been a stranger to either variety in recent years. Sunday’s loss to Bryant University, a school enjoying its very first year as a full Division I member, falls into the latter category. BC is only 2-4 to start the season, although the Eagles have admittedly played a more challenging schedule than many of their conference peers. That said, a home loss to Bryant is a troubling sign.  Head Coach Tim O’Shea accidentally backhanded the Eagles with his postgame comments: “Five years ago, the biggest game on Bryant’s schedule was Bentley. Five years later, we’ve just beaten Boston College on the road. It’s a big deal.”
  3. Testudo Times: A Maryland team that was decimated by defections found some extra depth in a recent win over Georgia Southern. The sterling play of freshman Charles Mitchell continued as he contributed a double-double off the bench with fellow freshman Shaquille Cleare adding a double-figure scoring effort. An additional double-figure scoring effort by transfer guard Logan Aronhalt – who went 4-4 from beyond the arc — demonstrated that the Terrapins have more firepower on the bench than expected. With Mark Turgeon happy to keep his starters on the bench while the reserves performed, it’s easy to wonder if the starting lineup may undergo some revisions over the course of the next few games.
  4. Duke Basketball Report: The ACC / Big Ten Challenge kicks off Tuesday evening and this year, the event has a little extra spice. Between the still-open wound of Maryland leaving one conference for the other, the allure of a top-five showdown between Duke and Ohio State is appealing, as is a chance for a perplexing North Carolina team to take a shot at an increasingly vulnerable looking Indiana squad. After a 10-year run of victories, the ACC has lost the past three years. Say what you will about realignment, but it sure makes these interconference events feel a little more exciting.
  5.  Basketball Prospectus: One more item on the topic of conference realignment: Why does it happen? Well, as Maryland so ably and honestly demonstrated: it’s the money. Using a clever analogy with pro sports, John Gasaway proposes a novel (or at least freshly recycled) idea on how to make conferences significantly more stable: revenue sharing across all of the major conferences. It’s an interesting thought, and one that merits some additional examination.
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Big East M5: 10.23.12 Edition

Posted by Dan Lyons on October 23rd, 2012

  1. While the Orange basketball season is still a few weeks away, Central New York basketball fans got a bit of a treat at the Carrier Dome last night. Syracuse hosted an NBA preseason tilt between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers featuring former Orange legend Carmelo Anthony. The Sixers won the game 98-90, although Anthony played well, scoring 23 points and tallying six rebounds, five assists, and four steals in the game. Perhaps more notably, this weekend was Carmelo’s first chance to get a full tour of the Syracuse building which bears his name – the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center. Anthony, who donated $3 million towards the construction of the top-flight training facility, was a bit awestruck by the experience, according to Syracuse.com‘s Mike Waters:

    “I was there yesterday. That was the first time I had a chance to get around and walk through the whole facility. I watched the team practice. I actually got a work-out in over there. I was kind of surreal for me to walk around and see my name plastered around the building and the outside of the building. […] I was … I don’t know what word to use. It was shocking to me just to see that. I called my family and sent them pictures of it. […] It was one of those moments that I’ll never forget.’’

  2. Sporting News’ Matt Crossman wrote an excellent piece this week on Louisville center Gorgui Dieng. While it is easy for many to get caught up in the life that comes with being an elite level college athlete, especially one who has received numerous preseason accolades after last 2011-12’s Final Four run, Dieng has managed to stay exceptionally humble. Crossman discusses Dieng’s move from Senegal and his adjustment to life in America, both socially and on the court, as well as his strength as a student. More than anything, Dieng’s refreshing view on life shines through:“People forget the basics. Now, it’s all about money. It’s all about what you got,” Dieng says. “They forget happiness. There is nothing better than a smile. Nothing.”
  3. Big East basketball has a reputation for being more physical than most other leagues, and Rutgers feels as though it has struggled in the past because of this. Enter strength coach Mike Johansen, who made it his goal to improve the Scarlet Knights’ strength numbers across the board. It seems as though he’s succeeded.  According to this Daily Record report, the team’s average squat is up 73 pounds, its average clean has increased by 30 pounds, and its average bench is up 40 pounds. Time will tell if this will have a major impact for Rutgers on the court, but at the very least they should be more physically prepared for the rigors of a full Big East slate.
  4. In other New Jersey basketball news, Seton Hall has been bitten by the injury bug early this year. Point guard Aaron Cosby will be missing four to six weeks with a PCL strain. Luckily for Cosby and the Pirates, the injury does not appear to be too serious and will not require surgery. The vacant point guard job is now left up to sophomore Freddie Wilson, who played sparingly last year, and freshman Tom Mayaan, who is coming off of a torn ACL.
  5. When it comes to the use of dog logos in the state of Connecticut, UConn wants to be sure that you won’t confuse them with The Morgan School, a Clinton, Connecticut, high school with an enrollment of 558 students: “A letter from James D. Aronowitz, associate general counsel for the Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Company, which represents UConn, politely asked Clinton educators to stop using the logo. The letter said use of the similar dog could interfere with UConn’s ability to “effectively market and license” the use of the logo.” To be fair, the schools’ logos are quite similar, and The Morgan School seems to be handling the situation amicably, but let it be known — if you are a high school in New England (or even as far as Montana, as the article states) that uses the ‘husky’ as a mascot you should probably consider a switch before UConn finds you.  For maximum internet appeal, I suggest becoming the ‘Corgis’.
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SEC NCAA Tournament Primer: West Region

Posted by EMoyer on March 22nd, 2012

On Thursday night, Florida will play in its seventh Sweet Sixteen, facing Marquette . Here we preview the game between the Gators and Golden Eagles as well as the possibilities for the Gators in the Elite Eight. The West and the East are the two regions to feature four prior champions.

SEC NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal Capsule

WEST Region 

  • #7 Florida: Championship Appearances: 15; Record 31-12; Best Finish: Champion – 2006, 2007; How Qualified: At-Large, SEC; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Elite Eight
  • #3 Marquette: Championship Appearances: 30; Record 38-30; Best Finish: Champion – 1977; How Qualified: At-Large, Big East; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Sweet Sixteen
  • #1 Michigan State: Championship Appearances: 26; Record 54-24; Best Finish: Champion  – 1979, 2000; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, Big Ten; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Second Round
  • #4 Louisville: Championship Appearances: 38; Record 62-39; Best Finish: Champion – 1980, 1986; How Qualified: Automatic Bid, Big East; Last Appearance: 2011 – L, Second Round
All-Time Meetings
  • Florida vs Marquette: Marquette leads 2-0; Last Meeting: Dec. 10, 1977 (Marquette 81, Florida 67)
  • Florida vs Michigan State: Tied 3-3; Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2009 (Florida 68, Michigan State 52)
  • Florida vs Louisville: Louisville leads 7-1; Last Meeting: Dec. 11, 2004 (Louisville 74, Florida 70)

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